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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A lawsuit accuses South Carolina's social services agency of knowingly placing siblings in the same foster homes, even though officials knew one was abusing the other.

The case pending in federal court accuses the Department of Social Services of multiple counts of grossly negligent supervision.

The suit says a girl was nearly 4 years old when she and her 8-year-old brother were removed from their mother's home. Court papers say the children were removed for multiple reasons, including the brother's admission he had sex with his sister.

Over the next four years, the lawsuit says DSS continued to place the children together in foster homes, knowing the abuse continued.

A spokeswoman said DSS works diligently to ensure its children are safe. In court papers, the agency denies the allegations.

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